May 22, 2012
Virgin Mobile Updates payLo Plan
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
Sometimes it can be hard to remember those other than ourselves. While we become tied up in what our new iPhones will look like or when HTC will announce their new Android handset, we are mostly concerned with our phone needs and plans. Will we be able to add a line? Will we use so much data this month that our carrier begins to throttle our speed? Will our grandfathered unlimited data plan finally go the way of the buffalo when LTE rolls out? Yes, smartphones do offer us some of the best and brightest technology available, but carriers – though we may not believe it – have other customers and feature phones to take care of.
It may be hard to remember the days before our smartphones when polyphonic ring tones and color screens on feature phones excited us, but for many users out there, a solid pre-paid feature phone is all they need.
Enter payLo, Virgin Mobile´s pre-paid or no-contract offerings. Yesterday, Virgin announced a third-tier to their payLo plans, offering unlimited talk and text – as well as 50 mb of mobile web usage – for only $40 a month. According to the press release, this is a market which continues to grow and as such, they wanted to offer something extra to their customers.
“Even with the huge increase in data usage, there are still millions of people who mainly talk and text,” said Mark Lederman, director of payLo.
“And they deserve reliable service and phones. Half of our current payLo customers are primarily talking and texting, and now we´re providing to them unlimited value that suits their needs.”
As today´s smartphone technologies slowly trickle downward, the current feature phone offerings aren´t anything to sneeze at. Take for instance, the feature phones offered on Virgin´s new third-tier of payLo pre-paid service. Each phone offers mobile web access as well as IM and email options. The two most expensive phones – priced at a meager $50 – offer Bluetooth compatibility, access to Facebook and Twitter, and even Google Maps. They may not be as sexy as your newest Samsung Galaxy device, but they offer much of the day-to-day functionality that most of us need.
Virgin´s new no-contract plans look to be a fine compliment to these devices, giving subscribers the kind of accessibility they need without having to shell out the big bucks.
To those of us who use more than 5 GB of data a month, 50 mb may seem like only a day´s worth of usage. As only feature phones will run on this plan, however, it´s unlikely this limit will prevent much of a problem to payLo customers. Virgin Mobile, it seems, is doing their best to make sure customers only use their allotted data, as overage charges will set customers back $1.50 per mb.
Without any contracts, there are no activation fees, just a monthly balance. Filling up your phone with credit can be done either by purchasing Virgin Top-up cards or making a payment via credit card or PayPal account.
So maybe you don´t need the latest and greatest smartphone available. Maybe, like most people, you´d actually be fine with just the basic talk, text, and email features of a feature phone. Maybe, like Sam Graham-Felsen, you´re feeling a bit to “crowded” mentally by constantly using and upgrading your smartphone. If so, you might want to give Virgin Mobile´s new offerings a go.